Welcome to Dispatches, your round-up of the latest news from the frontlines of the War on Women. This week we’ll be focusing our coverage on the Democratic National Convention and the upcoming election. Have a story from your state or an idea on how to push back? Share them here and fight back against the War on Women.
It’s time we stop just talking about family values and start pursuing policies that truly value families. The President and Democrats have cut taxes for every working American family, and expanded the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. We believe that all parents and caregivers – regardless of gender – need more flexibility and support in the workplace. We support passing the Healthy Families Act, broadening the Family and Medical Leave Act, and partnering with states to move toward paid leave. We have invested in expanding and reforming Head Start and grants to states to raise standards and improve instruction in their early learning programs, and we support expanding the
Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. We must protect our most vulnerable children by supporting our foster care system, adoption programs for all caring parents, grandparents, and caregivers, and protecting children from violence and neglect. We recognize that caring for family members and managing a household is real and valuable work.
And because the task of raising families shouldn’t just fall to the women, the platform specifically looks to the role fathers play in healthy families.
President Obama’s administration has offered men who want to be good fathers extra support. We have bolstered community and faith-based groups focused on fatherhood, partnered with businesses to offer opportunities for fathers to spend time with their kids at the bowling alley or ballpark, and worked to help deployed dads connect with their children. We all have a stake in forging stronger bonds between fathers and their children.
It’s impossible to have functional families without health, a fact not lost on the Democrats.
We support parents and their children as they work to lead healthier lives. With prevention and treatment initiatives on obesity and public health, Democrats are leading the way on supporting healthier, more physically active families and healthy children.
That is how you support families, by understanding they come in all shapes and sizes, offering tax relief to help those families thrive and promoting laws that punish those who try to take advantage of working parents to benefit their own bottom line. It’s a clear difference from Republicans who believe working families should shoulder the burden of low wages and insufficient benefits so that this country’s wealthiest can pool even greater wealth.
Democrats also offer a clear difference in vision in abortion and women’s right specifically, but that much we could anticipate.
President Obama – the son of a single mother and the father of two daughters – understands that women aren’t a special interest group. They are more than half of this country, and issues that affect women also affect families. That is why the first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps women fight back when they are paid less than men, and why we continue to fight to overcome Republican opposition and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to help stop gender discrimination in pay before it starts. And that is why the Justice Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, led by President Obama’s appointees, have investigated and prosecuted numerous violations of the nation’s civil rights laws, and obtained more than $140 million in relief for victims of gender discrimination. We Democrats will continue to support efforts to ensure that workers can combat gender discrimination in the workplace and to protect women against pregnancy discrimination. And that’s why we support passing the Healthy Families Act, broadening the Family and Medical Leave Act, and partnering with states to move toward paid leave.
Importantly, the platform specifically recognizes that women’s issues ARE economic issues.
We understand that economic issues are women’s issues, and the challenges of supporting and raising a family are often primarily a woman’s responsibility. That’s why putting Americans back to work is Job One. That’s why the Affordable Care Act especially helps women by guaranteeing they and their families won’t become uninsured when they lose their jobs. That’s why this administration strengthened Medicare and Medicaid for millions of women and families. And that’s why the Affordable Care Act is ending health insurance discrimination against women, and provides women with free access to preventive care,including prenatal screenings, mammograms, cervical cancer screening, breast-feeding supports, and contraception. We understand that women’s rights are civil rights. That’s why we reaffirm our support for the ERA, recommit to enforcing Title IX, and will urge ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. That’s why we are committed to ending violence against women, why Vice President Joe Biden originally wrote and championed the Violence Against Women Act during his time in the Senate, and why we support reauthorizing and strengthening it now. The President and the Democratic Party believe that women have a right to control their reproductive choices. Democrats support access to affordable family planning services, and President Obama and Democrats will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers. The Affordable Care Act ensures that women have access to contraception in their health insurance plans, and the President has respected the principle of religious liberty. Democrats support evidence-based and age-appropriate sex education.
Importantly, as the Democratic platform notes, reproductive rights are comprehensive.
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman’s decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.
On the one hand, there are a lot of good policy points here–including a renewed commitment to the Equal Rights Amendment which, if passed, would end any legal or quasi-legal discrimination against women on the basis of gender. It is long past time for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and the Democrats should be applauded for the inclusion.
But, on the other hand is the issue of abortion, and on this issue the platform falls short. Yes, it states unequivocal support for Roe v. Wade and the idea that women should have access to abortion services regardless of ability to pay, but it offers no specifics of how Democrats plan to show support. There is no mention of a repeal of the Hyde Amendment which prohibits the use of federal funds from going toward abortions. Nor is there any rebuke of those Democrats in office who consistently vote against choice and reproductive health laws. What’s left is a rather empty promise to “do better” on this issue with no indication of what better would actually look like.
Taken as a whole the platform should be embraced and supported as an articulation of the values of equality and liberty for all that, when implemented, has beaten back the darkest of our political impulses. As these elements have re-emerged within the leadership of the Republican party it is encouraging to see the Democrats stand up again in the name of civil rights and equality. Now the party needs to take that final plunge and support legislation that ensures abortion will be a fundamental right available to every woman in this country whenever she should need it.
Thanks for checking back and don’t forget to send in your stories, suggestions and comments. We’ll be back each weekday with the latest in the best and the worst from the War on Women. So long as the battle rages, we’ll cover the latest, so please check back!
Health Care Supporter,
Health care will be front and center when the Democratic National Convention begins tonight. There will be a short film about the fight for the Affordable Care Act and the important benefits it has delivered to the American people. During the hour starting at 8 p.m. ET, be sure to see the story of how health care reform has transformed the lives of people across the country. Later we’ll hear from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and First Lady Michelle Obama.
We expect the video and these leaders to highlight some of the life-changing accomplishments of Obamacare that will be felt for generations to come:
Health Care for America Now
CarolinaFest is a free family-friendly Labor Day celebration that will occur in Uptown Charlotte and will feature interactive expositions, family oriented-activities, live music, speakers, and history in the making. The event will be held on Tryon Street in the heart of convention facilities and serve as the kick-off to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
CarolinaFest will feature two stages with live performances and speakers. The Main Stage will be located at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets in Uptown Charlotte and the “Carolina Stage” will be located at the intersection of Levine Avenue of the Arts and Tryon Street. Jeff Bridges and the Abiders, Janelle Monáe, and James Taylor were recently announced as Main Stage entertainment.
In a continued effort to make the 2012 Democratic National Convention the most open and accessible convention in history, in partnership with the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and with the generous support of AT&T, the Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee is excited to present the most technologically advanced way to be a part of a Convention through the release of the official convention mobile app for smartphones and tablets.
Called “DNC 2012,” the mobile app is part of both the Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee and the DNCC’s broad digital media efforts to make it possible for people to participate in this historic event both in person and virtually. At the touch of a finger, users can watch the convention via live-stream footage as well as navigate through Charlotte and convention venues via an interactive map. The app is available now for iOS and Android devices.
Catalyzed by the historic 2012 Democratic National Convention, the Charlotte community has undertaken significant efforts to show rather than just tell the world how we come together and problem solve. As a result, for more than a year, we have been working hard to create an enduring legacy of across four key areas: reducing childhood obesity, lifting the ambitions of young people by engaging them in putting the convention together, making our city more sustainable than any other convention city and promoting inclusive business practices. By the time the convention happens, we want you to see what we’ve done, not what we promise to do. Volunteers, partner organizations and supporters are working hard every day and showing that we make it possible to shape our future here in Charlotte and North Carolina. Learn more >>>
As people from all over the country funnel into Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention, it’s important we introduce them to our city. We decided to do this in two fun, yet informative ways:
Exploring Charlotte: Our Exploring Charlotte Series is a set of blog posts written by our outstanding high school student interns detailing the city they live in and letting readers know what to experience and where to eat and shop while in town.The blog posts also detail the history of each neighborhood, so you can not only see what the neighbors have to offer, but also how these communities are part of the American fabric as we gather to celebrate during the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Hey Intern: The “Hey Intern” series is a set of blog posts/videos designed with a simple format: directing our interns to give our visitors a peek at what the Queen City has to offer. So far, they’ve been on the Carolina Thread Trail, The Green, NASCAR Hall of Fame and Discovery Place. They even made a cat video! We plan to feature several more places before and during the convention!
|Tell the Romney-Ryan Ticket What You ThinkWe’ve known for months who we’ll be supporting in November: President Obama.But this week has shown us exactly what we’re up against: anti-choice extremists who think that “legitimate” rape can’t cause pregnancy; a party that pretended to be horrified by such statements, then turned right around and proposed a platform that denies a woman her right to choice, privacy, and freedom; a presidential ticket that has supported “personhood” measures that would ban abortion in almost all cases.Tell Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: That’s not my platform. That’s not what I believe in. A platform based on disrespecting women has no place in our society.Tell the Romney-Ryan ticket to take the War on Women out of the GOP platform.|
|HALL OF FAME AND HALL OF SHAME|
|Hall of Fame: President ObamaThis isn’t the first time we’ve awarded President Obama with the Hall of Fame listing. This month, we recognize the president because on August 1, the first phase of his no-cost contraceptive-coverage policy went into effect! It’s one of the greatest advancements in women’s health in decades. And it’s why we’re seeing women share photos online of their pharmacy receipts totaling zero dollars.
Rep. Akin’s outrageous belief about women who have been raped and are facing potential pregnancy because of that traumatic experience are inexcusable. Rep. Akin and his despicable views, which are unfortunately shared by other candidates seeking office this year, are nothing short of dangerous to women’s health.
|CHOICE IN THE NEWS|
|The unacceptable views voiced by Rep. Todd Akin echo the positions of the Romney-Ryan ticketRep. Steve King (R-IA) decided to echo Rep. Akin’s outrageous statement on “legitimate rape” Nancy Keenan has been tapped to speak at the Democratic National Convention|
|A message from … Dr. Dan Murrey, Executive Director|
|Dear Charlottein 2012 Supporter,I don’t want you to miss out. We are closing submissions for the poster contest on December 31, 2011. I want to make sure your artwork has the chance to become one of the official posters for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Here’s what you’ve got to do. Design a 18 x 24″ poster which focuses on one or more of the following themes: 1) Americans coming together; 2) building a better future; and/or 3) opportunity for empowerment. The poster must incorporate the official 2012 Democratic National Convention logo.
For a full list of contest requirements and to download the logo, visit the official website — www.charlottein2012.com/postercontest
I hope you’ll enter your submission before December 31st.
I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Dr. Dan Murrey Executive Director